Theodore Roosevelt and His Time Shown in His Own Letters - Vol. 1

By Joseph Bucklin Bishop | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XIV
PRESIDENT--EARLY DECLARATIONS OF POLICY

PRESIDENT MCKINLEY, while attending the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, on September 6, 1901, was shot by an anarchist. Roosevelt went at once to Buffalo, as did also several members of McKinley's Cabinet. The wound was not regarded by the physicians in attendance as mortal and for a day or two the President's condition seemed so favorable that they declared him to be practically out of danger. On receiving this assurance Roosevelt joined his family in the Adirondacks. A day or two afterwards, September 14, 1901, he went on a long tramp through the forest, climbing Mount Tahawus. As he was descending the mountain and was resting upon a shelf of land which overlooked the surrounding country, he saw a guide approaching on the trail from below. When the guide reached him he handed him a telegram saying that the President was worse and that he should go at once to Buffalo. He was ten miles away from the clubhouse at which he was lodging, and it was then late in the afternoon. It was dark when he reached the clubhouse and it was some time before a horse and wagon could be procured by which he could be conveyed to the nearest railway station, North Creek, which was between forty and fifty miles away. The night was dark and the roads, being the ordinary ones of the wilderness, were far from good. He and the driver were the sole occupants of the vehicle. The horses were changed three times, and the station was reached at dawn, where Roosevelt learned that McKinley was dead, and that he was President of the United States. A special train was awaiting to take him to Buffalo. On the evening of the same day, in the

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